Monographs Details: Strychnos peckii B.L.Rob.
Authority: Krukoff, Boris A. 1965. Supplementary notes on the American species of Strychnos VII. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 12: 1-94.
Description:Distribution and Ecology - British Honduras: Gentle 3480 (Mich), 3515. Venezuela: Miranda (Parque Nacional), Agostini 6 (Ven). Colombia: Meta: Cordillera de Marcarena, Idrobo & Schultes 12116; Vaupes: Rafael Romero C. 1264 (US): Amazonas: basin of Rio Apaporis, Schultes 12100. Ecuador (upper Bobonaza, 1900 ft., cult, locally), Charles C. Fuller 129. Brazil: Para: basin of Rio Araguaia, Froes 29853; basin of Rio Tapajos (foz do Rio Juruena), Pires 3714; near Belem, Pires 12. Amazonas: basin of the lower Rio Negro (Rio Jahú, Igarapé das Onças), Ducke 402. Maranhão (Rio Anil), Froes 24280.This is the first record of the species from Miranda (Venezuela), from Meta (Colombia) and from the basin of Rio Araguaia in the State of Para (Brazil). Idrobo & Schultes 12116 was collected at the slopes of Cuchillo Palmitas at an elevation of 1600 m, the highest record for the species, and the fourth highest record for the American species of Strychnos, one being of S. bicolor from the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil from an elevation of 1800 m; another of S. brasiliensis from Campos do Jordão, State of São Paulo, Brazil from an elevation of 1500-1800 m, and another of S. panamensis from Guatemala from an elevation of 1400-1700 m.Distribution: This species has a very wide range. In Central America it seems to be confined to the Atlantic Coast. It has been collected in Guatemala (Izabal), in British Honduras and in Costa Rica (Limon) and it doubtless occurs in Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. In South America it has been collected in Venezuela (Miranda, Aragua and Amazonas); Colombia (Valle del Cauca, near the Pacific coast; Meta; Vaupés; Putumayo and Amazonas); Ecuador (Oriente); Bolivia (La Paz, basin of Rio Mapiri); British and French Guianas and Brazil where it has a very extensive range. It has been collected in the State of Para (near Belem; near Bragança; near Breves; in the basin of Rio Araguaia, near the southern border of the State, and in the basin of Rio Tapajos); in the State of Amazonas (in the basins of the lower and upper Rio Negro, of the middle Rio Jurua, of Rio Jutai, of Rio Tonantins and Rio Iça); in the Territory of Rio Branco; in the Territory of Guapore (basin of Rio Guapore); in the State of Maranhão and in the State of Bahia (munic. Ilheos). It doubtless occurs also in Surinam and in Amazonian Peru. In Brazil its range doubtless will be extended to include the Territory of Amapa, and the Territory of Acre, the States of Matto Grosso and Goias as well as the States of Piaui, Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Alagoas and Sergipe.
Discussion:Local name: Jaiya huasca (Quichua, Ecuador).
S. Peckii has the widest range of the American members of the genus except for S. nigricans. It is one of the six which are found on the Pacific coast of Colombia. For further details on this see under S. panurensis.
This species is very common in certain regions such as for example in the Dept. Izabal, Guatemala; in British Honduras; in the basins of the upper and lower Rio Negro and of Rio Solimoes in the State of Amazonas, Brazil. It is rare in the Guianas and poorly collected in the State of Para, Brazil.
For the description of its fruits see our monograph (1:285) and Ducke’s paper (31: 29, 55).
Bark of this species is used occasionally as a secondary ingredient in the curare of the Tecunas in Brazil, and according to Gill it is used also for the same purpose by the Canelos in Ecuador (1: 287). Schultes reported that its roots (probably root bark) are used in curare by the Kofán Indians in Putumayo, Colombia (6: 13). A new record is now available that it is the chief ingredient of curare as prepared by the Karapanas on Rio Kananari in the basin of Rio Apaporis, Amazonas, Colombia (Schultes 12100).
Fanshawe (34: 66) gives the following information on the local names, on the field characters of this bush-rope, and on its distribution in British Guiana:
“Local names: Devildoer; kwabanaro (Arawak); kumarawa (Akawaio, Are-kuna, Patamona, Macushi).
“A canopy climber, to 8 inches in diameter; bark dimpled, blackish.
“It occurs rarely in rain-forest on heavy soils in the North Central district.”
This species was studied by Folkers and Unna (39: 692) and “showed negative action for small doses of extracts of stem bark but a strong curare action from the extract of root bark was obtained.” The work was done on samples obtained from a single vine (Krukoff 7549 from the basin of the upper Rio Solimoes, Amazonas, Brazil) and probably is the first experimental proof that the root bark at least in certain species of Strychnos is the only one that has an appreciable quantity of the alkaloids with curare activity.
This species was also studied some 16 years later by Marini-Bettolo, Bovet and their coworkers. For the alkaloid content, toxicity and curare activity of the total extracts see (95: 1142-1144). In another paper the same authors state: “alcaloides seulement en traces” (108:268). The above referred to work was done on stem bark collected by Ducke north east of Colonia Campos Sales, near Manaos, Amazonas, Brazil in May 1953. In his paper (31: 16) Ducke refers to another sample of this species collected by him near Belem, Para, Brazil. This sample apparently was not studied by Marini-Bettolo, Bovet and their coworkers, at least up to the present.
Distribution:Guatemala Central America
| Honduras Central America
| Costa Rica South America
| Honduras Central America
| Nicaragua Central America
| Panama Central America
| Venezuela South America
| Colombia South America
| Bolivia South America
| Brazil South America